Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd

Title:  Hunting Shadows (An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery)
Author:  Charles Todd
Pages:  330
Year:  2014
Publisher:  William Morrow
This is a great British mystery!  I haven’t read any of this author’s Inspector Rutledge mysteries before, but I’m sure going to be reading them now!  This book in the series is set shortly after World War I has ended in 1920.  This story takes place mostly in the Fens, an area of Great Britain sparsely populated at that time and consisting of waterways, drainage ditches and windmills.
Inspector Ian Rutledge works for Scotland Yard and is called in to investigate the deaths of two men gunned down by a sniper.  While investigating these crimes, another man is shot, but not killed by the same sniper.  What do these two men have in common that would cause someone to kill them?  Ian must discover where and how and if their paths ever crossed to discover the killer’s identity and motive.  His clues lead him to suspect the killer must be a former soldier.  Does the soldier still think he is fighting in the war or is he using the skills he received courtesy of army training to settle a personal vendetta?
Inspector Rutledge does have a “Watson” so to speak to assist him in his crime solving.  His name is Hamish and he exists in the inspector’s mind.  Hamish was a real person, a soldier in the war under the inspector’s command, who was killed in action.  Not having read prior books in the series, the manner of Hamish’s death and the inspector’s role or lack thereof of in Hamish’s death might have been dealt with in a prior storyline.  The inspector has a lot of guilt regarding Hamish’s death and must deal almost daily with what we would call today post-traumatic stress disorder.  He has flashbacks of the war that leave him emotionally and physically drained.  He has contemplated suicide and keeps his service revolver oiled and ready to use for that purpose.  However, he lives day-to-day and continues to do his job.  This brought home to me how war can continue to be fought long after the treaties have been signed.
I thought this was an excellent book.  There was some swearing sprinkled toward the beginning of the story, but I didn’t think it detracted or distracted from the plot.  I am a fan of British mysteries and am so happy I’ve found a new series to read.  I liked the complexity of Rutledge’s character and how his mind worked to solve the crime and see justice served.  I would recommend this book.  Be on the lookout here for more reviews of this series in the future.  If you like mysteries, this one is definitely one you won’t want to pass up.
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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